Pantheon Community

Ask Me Anything: Adrianna Wilson

Hi, I’m Adrianna Wilson, People Experience Coordinator on the People team. Pantheon experienced incredible growth last year and our team played a substantial role by bringing in fabulous talent to help our organization scale. If I have learned anything in my professional career, it is that it takes a village to create and grow a successful company. I work on the human side of tech in coordinating candidates and providing new hires with a first-rate onboarding experience. I also participate in our Diversity and Inclusion initiatives with the LGBTQIA+ ERG.

This is the beginning of my journey in the tech space and the level of collaborative community and education here at Pantheon is second-to-none! Love our tech mentors!

Before Pantheon, I worked for five years as the Peninsula and South Bay area Partner in a boutique recruiting firm called Genuine Nannies. I took pride in finding “Mary Poppins” for many C-Suite execs and CEOs in Silicon Valley.

In my free time, I love reading, traveling, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, camping, singing for fun, spending time with my partner, family and friends, and snuggling with my two feisty kitties.

Ask me anything!
Conversation notes:

  • Created SCORE Women’s Entrepreneur Group (through SBA & SCORE Mentors). We hosted a few large scale events including the Women Small Biz Revolution Summit where I led and moderated a panel of female leaders from Wix.com, the CEO from Clever.com, and four amazing Leadership coaches.
  • Love food challenges-I play a home version of the Food Network’s “Chopped” when I cook- give me can of Sardines, Okra, and prunes and I will make you a feast! :wink:
  • Flew a plane and am working on getting my pilot’s license in the next 3-5 years (timeline is a little stretched out due to obvious COVID restrictions).
  • Wrote, sang, and produced a full-length CD
  • Enjoy the magic of visiting Disney parks. Tokyo Disney Sea and original Disneyland are my favorite.
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“It takes a village to create and grow a successful company.”

:point_up_2:I LOVE THIS! Our community team has super ambitious goals lined up & whenever things get crazy we always remind one another that it takes a village! That you can’t conquer Rome in a day. :slight_smile: So thankful to have so many amazing team members by my side that is for sure!

@ANW you’re getting your pilot’s license? That is beyond exciting!! I am also a world traveler :airplane: I have been to 49 states & 20+ countries. If I wasn’t such a scaredy cat I would probably go for mine too! You have to let us all know when you officially earn your wings!

One last thing–because you’re seriously so interesting & I just want to ask all the questions!

Created SCORE Women’s Entrepreneur Group

:point_up_2: This sounds amazing!! How did this come to mind!? Can you share the link to lean more? I am also an entrepreneur at heart & would love to connect with other amazing women!

Hi, Adrianna! Thanks for doing an AMA!

Curious about what your latest food challenge was and how it turned out!

I’d also love to hear what you think makes for a great onboarding experience.

@McKennaR Wow! I am super jealous. I have only been to 25 states & 9 countries (Japan and France are my favorites so I keep going back!) I am working on getting my license. I took a break to focus on work and then COVID happened, but it is still one of my top three goals! I will definitely have to let everyone know when I get it! @Dan(Not sure if this is Dan Lennon) Dan Lennon inspired me even more last year when he was sharing his flight simulator set up.

I joined SCORE Mentors to connect with other like-minded female entrepreneurs and to help small businesses with Marketing advice. SCORE Mentors is a group that is affiliated with the SBA - they run free and low-cost seminars, free mentor services, etc.

They did not have a specific women’s program and wanted to help them expand their reach. I applied for a grant and was awarded $5k to run an event series. It was amazing! I was able to really stretch myself and get some amazing speakers and partnership sponsors for our events. Carmen Simon, a cognitive neuroscientist spoke to using neurobiology to create memorable messaging in marketing and beyond, Melinda Emerson engaged with our community on her book tour as America’s #1 Small Business Expert. I was most proud of the Summit event where we were able to get the founder of Clever, Kristy Sammis (influencer marketing) - you may know them from the #BatKid day where Make-a-Wish Foundation partnered with Clever to make a little boy’s dream come true by turning SF into Gotham city, Sara Parker, VP PR & Communications at WIX, along with Leadership coaches Rebecca Williams, Shelli Hendricks, [Molly O’Kane], and Ramona Shaw. It was an incredible event where I could see the impact we were making on the participants.

I received so much positive feedback regarding all of the nuggets of wisdom and connections these female entrepreneurs made as a result of these events. It truly does take a village, especially when you are building something on your own. Feel free to slack me for any info on these women (discussion board is not letting me add links) as these are amazing women doing good things in the world! Check them out!

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Hi @sparklingrobots! Two recent food challenges- was craving something sweet but only had weird ingredients so I made Tamarind caramel dipping sauce with coconut Russian tea cookies. It was super yummy! I also recently made a Thai curry pot pie with lamb and date filling. I tried to mimic the flavors of Biryani and it sort of turned out tasting a little more Indian than Thai because of the spices I put in.

A great onboarding experience involves making employees feel included well before their actual start date. Onboarding begins during the recruiting process and builds throughout an employee’s tenure.
We want people to feel connected during their interviews and to start building relationships right away. Even if a candidate does not end up getting hired, we want them to know we valued their time and energy. We want someone to come away thinking, “Pantheon is an awesome company that hires incredible people. I would LOVE to be a part of their team!”

Once a candidate is a new hire, we help to educate and support them on their employee journey. We want new Pantheors to feel “the love” and give them the resources they need to be successful. It is not just about providing a new employee benefits information or telling them where they can get snacks. They need to know how to integrate into our community and how to solve problems that may arise. We are here to provide guidance and support for these things as well as the normal day-to-day needs of new hires.

As the People team is a fairly new one, we have been working hard on creating a solid structure for Onboarding and touchpoints as they truly set the foundation for an employee’s entire experience at a company.

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Love hearing about your food challenges. A friend turned me onto the wonderful flavor of Tamarind and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Any recent pictures of those two feisty kitties? (it’s been 2 months since you last shared one on slack :smiley: )

In our remote world where it’s much harder to find ways to engage people you don’t directly work with, what recommendations do you have for how we can interact with new hires to make them feel welcomed and engaged in a shared culture?
(By we, I mean coworkers outside of the people team)

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Hi Adrianna!

It’s really interesting that you worked as a recruiter for a nanny placement agency!

I’ve been meaning to find an additional sitter for baby Mia, but have been scared since our last trial run! We had an individual who claimed she was experienced with infants come & it was apparent she had never taken care of, or maybe even be around one—She didn’t know how to give our baby a bottle and/or thought our 6 mo old could feed herself if a bottle was set in front of her. :tired_face: :sob:

Do you have any tips for navigating the world of nannies for an apprehensive mama? :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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AHH THAT FACE! :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes:

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@JohnRichardsII Tamarind is amazing! Love it in Thai and Indian food. I am a huge fan. What is your favorite food to cook with tamarind?

Thank you for the great and very timely question. My advice is to be intentional with your interactions and outreach. The little interactions can make all of the difference when it comes to engaging with new hires and people outside your team. When we announce new hires, we can all reach out directly via slack and welcome them. A simple “hello” or “welcome” can make all the difference in the world!

We have a few programs like Panpals with Donut which help connect us all beyond our direct teams and my assumption is you are always welcome to reach out for a get-to-know-you coffee chat (barring any bandwidth issues as the first few months can be brutal!).

Our team is always trying to come up with innovative ways for new hires and vintage Pantheors to feel and stay connected. If you have any ideas for events, feel free to send them our way. We want our community to be as robust as possible.

While this is not specific to new hires, you may always join some of the events that come up. We are working on a better internal communication strategy for things like this so stay tuned for exciting things coming in 2021 and beyond!

Pics of the kitties coming soon!

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@McKennaR Which were your favorite States and Countries you have visited? By the way, that is super exciting about the ambitious goals and having amazing team members by your side! I agree that it makes all the difference in the world. I thank my lucky stars for having incredible teammates and leaders as well! :star2:

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Here you go!! @JohnRichardsII I will post more pics in Pantheorpets as well!

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@katy.gray & @McKennaR Agreed! What a little love bug :baby_bottle:

@katy.gray Hi Katy! Oh my goodness! I completely understand. I have had CEOs of companies say that hiring a caregiver for their child is the most difficult hire they have ever made! I do have a few pieces of advice for you:

  • When you are meeting nannies, have scenario-based questions in mind such as: "What have you done in the past if a baby was hungry or inconsolable but would not take a bottle?"or “What was a challenging situation you have had with infants, toddlers, etc?” This way you are able to judge what kinds of interactions they may have had with children. If someone is describing more toddler-style interactions, you will know they may not have the right kind of experience (yet… babies grow so keep these nannies’ numbers handy!)
  • Ask for references and call as many as possible. When it comes to your kiddos you can never have too many.
  • Do a trial run with the nanny. It comes with the territory if you are a new parent to hover a bit. Don’t feel like you are being overbearing. Take the time to get to know your nanny. Most families spend at least two hours to three days for the trial period depending on the cadence of the nanny’s potential work schedule.
  • Always trust your gut. If something feels off and your mommy senses are tingling, heed their warnings. You have no idea how many times I trusted my gut and I was able to avoid any undue challenges and strife with families and nannies.
  • There are wonderful caregivers out there. The vast majority of nannies work with children because it is their passion. Now that you have had a negative experience, you can use the information you learned to find the right person.
  • (Pre-COVID advice disclaimer) I used to meet with nannies in coffee shops so I could evaluate their demeanor around children. There would always be a moment when a child would walk in the door or a baby would cry and I would see how a nanny would navigate being a bystander. Very often, the best of the best would either give some helpful advice, comment, or physically engage with the kiddos. If you can meet in a public place it can be helpful for evaluation.
    I am always happy to send helpful resources your way! Feel free to slack me with questions.

Howdy!

Aren’t most cats feisty anyway?

And that’s super awesome you’re looking to get your pilot license too. If you could be a dinosaur what would you be?

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Jose asking the important questions!!

Also thanks for those wonderful photos. I love how the white socks stand out in the curled up kitty ball picture.

I’ve mostly drank my tamarind or had it as candy. I need to move it into my cooking now,

@jose.castaneda Yes! They truly are feisty creatures. You saved the best question for last! If I was a Dinosaur, I would be one of my own creation since none of them fly AND swim. If I had to choose though, it would be one that could fly for sure. Pteranodons are pretty gnarly! They are toothless carnivores.

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YUM! Those food challenges sound delicious.

There’s a lot of overlap between employee onboarding and community management, I think – all about making sure everyone feels welcome, has what they need, and understands how much they are valued. :heart_eyes:

Sorry I am just now getting to responding! But AMAZING!! Thanks so much for all of that information–I am checking out SCORE as we speak! The only thing I am now realizing is that I am not local to SFO :frowning: WOMP WOMP. But maybe there is still opportunity here for me to connect with other amazing women who are out there living their best lives–chasing their dreams!

It seems like you have a lot of great experience building out programs, I would love to grab some time to chat! Just in general about best practices :slightly_smiling_face:

Hmmm my favorite places I’ve been? This is a tough one! Well, I [somewaht] recently got to check out Maui. I stumbled upon a black sand beach & thought that was pretty rad. Check it out! :point_down:

Speaking of Maui, here are some more awesome photos of my trip there! :point_down:



Outside of my Maui adventures, I would have to say one of my favorite spots to date was Dubai–such a neat cultural experience!

This is amazing. Love Maui! It was the last place we went before the shelter-in-place in 2020. I would be happy to connect! Good news about SCORE- They are nationwide. You can also check out any of the other entrepreneurial groups out there in your area as well if you are so inclined. I attended a seminar at the Nasdaq Entrepreneur center a while back and it was awesome!

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